After a year of 4-way and training for the Nationals (formation skydiving competition) I wanted to try something a bit different. So I headed down to Netheravon dz, where I started jumping about 3 years ago but haven't been for quite some months. I arrived down at about midday on Saturday and met up with quite a lot of friends from Uni who I rarely see nowadays. Quick cup of tea and get my gear sorted out and we're ready to jump. First jump is a 10-way speed star. 10 jump out, and try to form a star as fast as possible in freefall. Unfortunately it all went to the dogs as the only 5 people got to the star, it was spinning and breaking apart and the rest of us never managed to get in! Still, it was a giggle.
The second jump was a 4-way and was a planned 4-point jump with one non FS1-qualified jumper, Em. If we did the jump well and got 4 points she could achieve her FS1 (Formation Skydiving 1) certification. Normally you would go through a program with a coach and then jump with 3 other coaches (and pay for all their tickets, too!) but you CAN jump with 3 friends as long as at least one is a coach or there is an additional camera-man so that there is evidence the dive was successful. Unfortunately though were didn't all managed the 4 points. Em back-slid away from the formation when we went to the first point and then started to go low. Soon she was too far below to get "back up" and the three of us just carried on with the rest of the jump as there wasn't much more we could do. Still - maybe next time she'll get it!
Later on I had the chance to try some freeflying, something I've wanted to do for ages. Freeflying is where you learn to fly your body in any position ("free") as opposed to just on your belly ("flat"). The most well practised are in a sitting position (sit-fly) or upside down (head-down). Flying on your back, a standing position or flying in a combination of all of these are also popular. It just depends on your skill level and person preference. You learn to sit fly first, or, in the wind tunnel you need to learn back flying before you sit fly. When your are competent then you can learn other positions. It is popular is there is so much choice and you can do some much in a jump.
Anyway, my first sit-fly jump was not exactly successful!! It was basically me flipping between my back and front and spinning around and around! I certainly didn't achieve the sit position at all! Never mind, because the next 3 jumps were a lot better. A coach jumped with me on the first one and showed me where I was going wrong and I tried to put that into practise on the next jumps. By the forth jump I was managing to get into the position and hold it for a few seconds at a time. Then I would roll on to my back, but I found I could use my arms and tuck my legs back a bit to get upright again. It was so much fun, literally sitting on top of the world! I can't want to jump again and improve some more!
Here are some deviations featuring freeflying skydivers:
by ~mirko030Friends Skydivers Clubs